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Hypothermia is a frequent sign of severe hypoglycaemia in patients with diabetes

Published inDiabetes & metabolism, vol. 38, no. 4, p. 370-372
Publication date2012
Abstract

AIM: Hypothermia is a recognized complication of severe hypoglycaemia, but its prevalence and characteristics are poorly studied. For this reason, this study aimed to evaluate hypothermia in severely hypoglycaemic patients. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed including all patients discharged between 2007 and 2010 from the Emergency Department of the Geneva University Hospital with a diagnosis of severe hypoglycaemia. RESULTS: Hypothermia was identified in 30 (23.4%) out of 128 patients with severe hypoglycaemia. Its incidence was not affected by age, type of diabetes, season or time of day (day/night). Using linear regression, the lowest recorded temperature was associated with the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score (r2=13.8%, P<0.0001) and inversely associated with the leukocyte count (r2=13.1%, P=0.001). CONCLUSION: Hypothermia is a frequent sign of severe hypoglycaemia in patients with diabetes. The associations between hypothermia and the GCS score and the leukocyte count suggest that it is a marker of hypoglycaemia severity and/or duration. Hypothermia may represent an important compensatory mechanism in severe hypoglycaemia, reflecting a decrease in energy demand during glucose deprivation.

Citation (ISO format)
TRAN, Christel et al. Hypothermia is a frequent sign of severe hypoglycaemia in patients with diabetes. In: Diabetes & metabolism, 2012, vol. 38, n° 4, p. 370–372. doi: 10.1016/j.diabet.2012.03.005
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ISSN of the journal1262-3636
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